The Light of the World, by Louis A. Dole

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“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Readings

Isaiah 61 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 27

Sermon

From the very beginning the Lord’s Advent was associated with light. It was prophesied of His coming, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” When the Lord was born, the shepherds saw a great light, and it was a star that led the wise men from the east to the place where the young child lay.

It is clear that the Lord is meant in the words, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee… The sun shall no more be thy light by day… but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” And of the Holy City it is written, “There shall be no night there; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Throughout the Scriptures the Lord is spoken of as the source of light. In the opening verses of the first chapter of John the Lord as the Word is six times spoken of as the light of the world, and in the eighth chapter He declares positively, “I am the light of the world.”

Why is so much said in the Word regarding light, and why is the Lord so often associated with it?

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“This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” – John 3:19-21

Readings

Isaiah 1:1-20 · John 3:16-36 · Psalm 75

Sermon

These words are from the Lord’s admonition to Nicodemus. They were spoken under circumstances which should have brought the point home to Nicodemus. Frequently the Lord used His environment to enforce a lesson. The conditions on this occasion were such as to point up His remarks.

This lesson of knowing and not doing, a lesson on light and darkness, was given to one who had sought the Lord at night. Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews. Occupying a high position, he was solicitous about what the people thought of him. He had heard of the miracles that the Lord had wrought, or possibly he had seen some of them, especially at the Passover. However it had been, he had become convinced that Jesus was sent from God; for he reasoned that if Jesus were not of God, He could not have performed such miracles.

Two forces are struggling in Nicodemus. One convinces him that the Lord’s claims are genuine and makes him desire to know more about Him. The other causes him to think of his official position, and of the hatred of the Jews for the Lord, which will be turned against him if he is known to be a disciple of Jesus. Which shall he do – serve the Lord and incur the ill will of his associates, or keep his office and deny the Lord?

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“I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life,” by Louis A. Dole

Read the original sermon in PDF format

“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Readings

Jeremiah 31:31-40 · John 8:12-31 · Psalm 36

Sermon

The sight of the eye is regarded as the noblest of the senses. All our knowledge comes to us by means of the senses, and sight is the avenue through which knowledge is most easily and quickly attained, and through it also comes our delight in the beauty of nature and the faces of our friends.

There are two kinds of sight, an outer and an inner sight. Our light comes from the sun. Even at night the moon merely reflects the sun’s light. A little light comes from the stars which are huge suns many thousands of times further away from us than our own sun.

But the sun gives us no spiritual light. Animals see. Some have far keener vision than men, yet they cannot rise to a knowledge of God nor even to the enjoyment of the beauties of nature. They do not have that inner sight without which all nature is dark as to everything which is above itself.

The Lord says, “I am the light of the world.” The Lord is the Word, and came into the world as the Word made flesh. Take away from the human mind all that has ever been learned from the contents of the Bible – through its own pages or through the incorporation of its thoughts in literature and art – and the natural mind would be as dark and dreary as if the sun had been destroyed. Even our natural sight is dependent upon the mind or soul. When we speak of a person as shortsighted, we are not usually understood to refer to the sight of the body but to the lack of the power of calculation or provision for the future which is spoken of as “foresight.”

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“Ye are the light of the world,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Ye are the light of the world.”
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14, 16

Readings

Isaiah 58 · Matthew 5:13-24 · Psalm 104:1-23

Sermon

The Lord spoke these words to His apostles. It was not that they were a light of themselves but that they could so live that the Lord’s light could shine through them. Everyone who learns the truths of the Word and seeks to live according to them and to bring this truth to others is an apostle. The purpose of acquiring knowledge from the Word is that we may come to know the Lord ourselves and be able to lead others to Him.

One of the greatest perversions of the truth is to do what is right not for the sake of right but for the sake of being thought of as good by others. This leads to self-glorification. Our text teaches us that our good works are to be seen but that they should lead men to their source, not to ourselves.

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